11/16/10

I Put My Pants on for This?

This week is going to be a nice week. Not only is my birthday tomorrow (you’re welcome that I was born, Planet Earth) but, barring something unforeseen, I should have my thesis completely finished. Currently I’m waiting to get signatures from a couple of professors and also a green light that all of the revisions I need to make have been approved, which should happen tomorrow. And when it does, I hand in my thesis and my educational career will finally come to a close.

As implied above, my defense last week went well. Too well, to be honest. I managed to defend my thesis successfully but what was shocking was that my professors actually liked the damn thing. I knew going into my defense that, should I pass, my thesis would be forever lost in the dusty confines of a corner of my university’s library, never to be read. I accepted that knowledge as a source of pride, not because I would have a work published, but because I would have lowered the academic prestige of political science at my university to an irreversible degree. What I learned after the defense was that my lowering the bar of political science as an academic discipline might just extend beyond my own university.

My professors thought my results were interesting enough that they’re considering publishing my work. Essentially, they’d take the results of my thesis and put them through the full gauntlet of statistical inquiry, something I can’t do with my more limited experience and knowledge. To put it simply, it’d be like my drawing a stick figure rendition of a woman and then handing it off to Leo who then makes it into the Mona Lisa. Anyway, the professors on my committee are considering attempting to publish my work in a national political science journal and also presenting it at a “Religion and Politics” seminar in Michigan. The cool news is they’d have to list me as a co-author and, depending on a few unknowns, I might actually be there to present the findings with them at the conference.

So, having dumb downed political science in the United States, I have spent this weekend and the early part of this week doing absolutely nothing. I’ve played some video games, I’ve read books of my own choosing and have watched a number of television shows about ghosts. I still intend to write a new blog post every Monday but, to be honest, I didn’t feel like doing it yesterday. I was too wrapped up in online debates, whether it be about religion on Facebook or football on another board I go to.

Which reminds me. I truly hate unreasonable people. And what I mean by that is anyone who doesn’t base their arguments in logic. I spent half my day yesterday arguing with a guy who claimed he supported President George W. Bush because “he was the president” but the same guy criticizes everything about President Obama. Under that same logic, if being the president is the only factor involved in your support, that guy should support Obama simply because he’s currently the president. You don’t have to like Obama or think he’s doing a good job – just be consistent with your damn argument!

Also, religious people are starting to annoy me the more I get older. I don’t have a problem with religion, just with the religious. I was discussing religion with my cousin’s wife on Facebook (which I suppose you should never do) and, being that she’s against universal health care, I asked her how she can call herself a Christian and be against access to health care for all people. The question wasn’t asked out of anger or spite – just curiosity. One of the central teachings of Jesus was compassion, and I don’t know how being against universal health care coincides with that. Rather than argue the point, she went off on a tangent about abortion and homosexuality. When I pointed out she went off topic, she made some comment about health care being too expensive. I responded by quoting Jesus: “Give unto others as little as necessary so you can convince yourself that you’re compassionate, but don’t give too much. We can’t just give handouts to lazy people, for Mysake.”

I then told her I didn’t know what chapter of the Bible that passage was in but was sure she could fill in the details. Maybe it was that comment or maybe it was the joke about “Mysake” instead of “Christsake,” but my cousin’s wife was offended and wrote my mom a huge email about my sinfulness and bad attitude.

There’s a lot of morons out there. But I suppose I should probably put some pants on and shave now that it’s dinner time. Hope everyone is doing well.

5 snide remarks:

intelliwench said...

It IS difficult to argue with someone who already knows all the answers, especially when their answers come from a higher authority, be it God or Glenn Beck. I've pretty much given up. When I visit certain family members I know that we have to restrict our conversation to the weather or other family members. Actually, with the global warming issue up for debate, we just have to talk about family.

But hey, congrats on the successful defense! Will we be referring to you as "Dr. Pantsless" in the not-too-distant future?

Barnesm said...

That's great and well deserved news about the thesis, hopefully it will lead to a book and perhaps a book tour (to include australia of course)

"wrote my mom a huge email about my sinfulness and bad attitude".. surely not the first such missive she had recieved.

If you are ever in need of someone else to join an online stoush, give us a yell - happy to wade in an start swinging retorical punches in any online arguement.

Though some of the people you seem to be conversing with in these onine discussions are of the "bringing a knife to a gun fight" level of arguement.

Always happy to have you back in these fights.

Pantsless Ponderer said...

intelliwench: I understand what you're saying completely and that's usually how I am, too. The problem is that whenever I hear an argument that has logic not even a kindergartner would use...I can't ignore it. I always point it out, and inevitably that tends to spark the debate.

Unfortunately no doctorate for me! I briefly considered going on to get a PhD but I'm done with school. I've simply gone for too long.

Thanks for the well wishes!

Barnesm: Ha, yeah, she probably is used to those letters of outrage by now. And whenever I have a debate with someone incredibly religious, I just imagine that I'm having a debate with Reverend Lovejoy's wife. "Won't someone please think of the children!"

And I'd be honored to go into a battle with you, be it verbal or fighting off the zombie horde. I'd follow you into any kind of battle, sir!

Heidi Germanaus said...

Happy belated birthday!!!

Anonymous said...

Simply put: WOW. Congrats!

Puma

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